So you have a new house, or a new apartment, or even just new paint and furniture…and you need some flooring help….If you’re looking for an area rug but don’t know where to start, let’s begin with the basics.
- Buy big ~ but not too big, the size of the seating area rather than the size of the room is perfect.
- Your furniture should fit on the rug if possible ~ at least the front legs of the couch, a few feet on each side of your bed, and dining room chairs should all fit on the rug.
- Be colorful ~ this is your place to use accent color and texture.
- Ask advise ~ once it’s down it’s hard (but not impossible) to roll back up and return!
There are many professional home decorators that would love to come into your home and help you pick out the perfect rug (and anything else you need!). But if it’s just one rug at a time, then part of the fun is shopping isn’t it?!
Today is National Pie Day!! For all of you (and I’m in this group) cake lovers, you might want to skip this, but know that National Cake Day is November 26th for future reference!
Apparently, The American Pie Council (who knew there was such a thing right??) set aside January 23rd to celebrate the pie, bake the pie, share the pie and I assume eat the pie! There is also a National Pie Championship where one could win the “American Pie Council’s Best Pie in America” award.
Here’s a link to a “perfect” apple pie…but a word of caution, it starts with a boxed pie crust! http://bit.ly/1RT3Ms6
So are you a pie or a cake person?!
So by now you’ve probably been thinking about your Federal and State taxes, and maybe even preparing just a bit for them. And you can wait if you want, even for a few more months, but eventually, you’ll need to read this post and get to work filing your taxes.
As a homeowner, there are a few things that you’ll want to consider. One of the most useful benefits of homeownership, after the right to paint those bedrooms purple, is tax deductions. If this is your first year of owning a home, then check out this list!
#1: Property Tax ~ any money paid during the year to your town/city property tax is deductible.
#2: Mortgage Interest ~ any money paid towards mortgage interest on your first or second mortgage and any private mortgage insurance payments are deductible.
#3: Closing Costs ~ some of the costs paid at your closing are tax deductible (ask your accountant which ones to include). Your may even be able to deduct some of your moving costs.
#4: Home Office ~ you may be able to use your home office as a deduction as well.
There may be others (his is when your accountant not me, your real estate agent is the professional!) so save all of your receipts for purchasing (your Closing Statement) as well as receipts for repairs, remodeling, parts etc. My advice is to save everything for seven years, but again, let your accountant guide you on that!
If your still renting, know that your landlord is getting all these benefits…wouldn’t you rather get them for yourself??
If you’ve been thinking of a new home, and by new I mean really, really (construction) new, there are definitely some things that are totally different from purchasing a pre-existing home. Here are a few things to think about before you make the new construction decision!
#1: You probably won’t be able to negotiate the price. Builders factor many things into their price and with new construction, what it is ~ is ~what it is! You may be able to negotiate a few upgrades, but don’t quote me on this one!
#2: The price you start at most likely won’t be the price you end at. During the construction process, things change. Like you decide that you want hardwood throughout the house, not just in the living room. Or you found lighting that you can’t live without, but it’s higher than the budgeted amount!
#3: Your home is not going to look like the model! White couches, no clutter, perfectly placed knick knacks are not realistic. Don’t worry, you’ll love your home with YOUR things in it as well!
#4: Expect delays. When the builder tells you 4 months from start to finish, plan for your home to be ready in 6 months. That way, if it’s earlier, you’ll be delighted, if it’s later, you’ll be resigned!
#5: Even though everything is brand new, it may not all be perfect. Mistakes can (read “will”) be made. But the builder will go over things with you and create a punch list ~ items to be tweaked and fixed ~ and they should also offer you a warranty. Before you sign anything, ask about their warranty, if it’s not at least one year, find another builder.
I know you love your dogs. I know you love your cats. And for some reason that I’ll never understand, I know you love your snakes. But not everyone does.
You’ve made the decision to sell your home, and with that comes the knowledge that strangers will be traipsing through your home peeking into closets and cabinets, looking into attics and cellars and sitting at the table and on the couch getting a feel for the kitchen and living room. I’ve yet to have someone lay on a bed to get a feel for the bedroom but……
So you’ve scrubbed, packed, decluttered and staged. The dog hair is vacuumed up, the litter box is clean, empty and odor free. Thank you for that, by the way, your home is now truly “show ready”.
BUT, since you’re a pet owner, you still have one more thing to do. Please remove your dogs and cats prior to the showing! Yes, remove them. There is nothing worse than trying to show a home with barking and lunging dogs and sneaky and escaping cats. If the potential buyer is not a dog lover, the minute they hear a bark, they become nervous. I’ve had buyers decide NOT to look at a home because of barking dogs inside, even if it’s the house they put #1 on their list. If buyers have allergies, walking into a house and having a welcoming cat rub up against their legs can send them right out the door before they even see the foyer.
Cute, I know,but to a non pet lover……
….this is what they look and sound like!!
This may sound harsh, but it’s reality. So find a doggy day care, a cat sitter or pet walker…..but when we’re coming to decide if YOUR home is going to be THEIR home, don’t let your pets be the decision makers!
Oh, and please, cover the snake tank. Please.
So the news is out, and Pantone has chosen Rose Quartz and Serenity as the two colors of the year. Basically that’s pink and baby blue…neither or them are favorites of mine, but that’s okay as I don’t have anything to paint this year. But the biggest news is that even though I see the chosen Colors of the Year each and every year, this is the first time I’ve realized that it’s PantOne not PantEne, like the shampoo!!!! How many times have I just seen what my eyes think I should be seeing, and read what my mind thinks it should be reading. Wow…have I done this with other things? Is this a reality check that I need to slow down? I love to read, and I know that I read fast and tend to speed read if I think it’s not that important, but this may have gone to far…for years I thought that a hair product company had influence over our color choices for decorating!
To read more about the real company behind our decorating choices click here: https://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2016
To read more about the hair company, click here: http://pantene.com/en-us
Sitting outside in a cafe in San Diego (well, Encinitas actually by my son’s office) having coffee and sending emails…..in mid-November…..basking in the sun’s warmth…..I was having those “I need to move south” thoughts once again. But then I recieved a phone call from a women who is moving back to New England after spending the past 10+ years in South Carolina. She knows that it’s cold in Maine in January, and we have snow and blizzards and freezing cold temps, but as she said “there’s no place like home”.
She’s right. And I will probably always have at least one son living in southern California, so will probably always have a place to visit and escape the cold and snow, so I’m okay now. I can go back home next week and relish the fact that whiles “there’s no place like home”, there’s also a place for me here as well when I need it!
What about you? Love the cold and snow and wouldn’t leave it, or do you have an escape plan for January/February?
Not all home buyers are alike. Well, that’s not really earth shattering, but some buyers are really different than others! High net worth buyers don’t typically get deterred by the ups and downs of prices. More high net worth buyers say they are looking to buy/invest this year than last (54% compared to 48%). I personally feel that we here in Midcoast Maine have some of the nicest offerings available!
This could be yours!
High net worth individuals surveyed give the following reasons for buying estate:
40% cited investment attractiveness
39% desired to live in a specific location
38% sought a safer investment than the stock market
31% wanted to take advantage of low interest rates
(Source: Coldwell Banker Previews International and Ipsos Connect)
Not that you really can prepare for the unexpected (isn’t that why we call it “un”expected?!) but at least if you are planning on selling your home, you can try to overcome two of the most common pitfalls that Sellers face before they happen to you!
In my experience, 24 years and counting, the number one thing that can go wrong once a Buyer and Seller have negotiated, come to agreement, and have a valid Purchase and Sales Agreement (contract!!) is a problem with the Buyer’s financing. Sellers, please please ask the Buyer or the Buyer’s agent to give you a pre approval letter from the lender BEFORE you sign that contract. And Buyer’s, please please have a pre approval letter from your lender BEFORE you sign that contract!! Nothing is worse for either side in a real estate transaction than to realize that the Buyer isn’t quite ready financially to purchase a home. And equally as important Mr and Ms Buyer, once you get that approval, don’t do ANYTHING that changes your financial picture. Lenders WILL run credit again and ask for employment verification again to make sure everything is the way it was when you applied for financing. Trust me, they will. And if you have purchased a new living room set or changed jobs, the whole transaction can quickly fall apart.
The second thing that can go wrong is a bad home inspection. In Maine, a Buyer can terminate the sales contract for an unsatisfactory inspection, and the Seller doesn’t have any say in that or any chance to “fix” things. So Sellers, why not try to find and fix the things that can scare off a Buyer before they find them and run away? A Pre-Home Inspection can be helpful in so many ways, and while not something that a lot of Sellers think of, it’s not that difficult to have done! Check out this link FMI http://bit.ly/1MB9vzL
So have you had a bad experience? Any suggestions to share with me?
I love the distinction between I “get to” and I “have to” do anything. Positive attitude vs Negative attitude. But I also get there’s a bit difference between I “get to” move and I “have to ” move. Selling a home because you want to as it allows you to start a new job, or grow your family, or move to somewhere you’ve always wanted to live is a lot different than selling your home because you’ve lost your job, or there’s been a death in the family or you can’t afford it any longer.
But that doesn’t mean you have to approach the move like it’s a death sentence. Try to embrace the fact that all change brings something good, if you are open to seeing it. Look upon this move as an opportunity to try something new. Embrace it. I’ve moved myself. A lot. Just ask my kids! But every move, whether it was one we wanted and looked forward to, or one that we had to make and dragged our feet through, all turned out to be good “moves” for us.
Have you “had to” move? Did it ulitmately bring good changes to your life?
Did you “get to” move recently? What tips might you have for the ones that had to?